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Lyons led by donkeys: Labour can't be trusted on civil service relocation plans

November 26, 2009 3:15 PM

Greg Stone, Newcastle East Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman, has expressed scepticism over reports that Labour are considering relocating thousands of civil servants out of London and into the regions in a pre-election move.

However, this policy has previously been pledged by Gordon Brown, who promised to move thousands of jobs to the regions but promptly failed to implement it, moving only a few dozen new civil service posts into this region, and maintaining the bulk in London. At the same time, existing North East civil service posts at centres like the major DWP facility at Benton Park Road have shed jobs due to efficiency savings.

Greg Stone said "The Lib Dems have long called for relocation of one of the major ministries out of London and into Tyneside, in a comparable move to that of the establishment in the past of a major Department for Employment outpost at Sheffield and Social Security in Leeds. However, we have no confidence in Gordon Brown's ability to deliver this, given that his last attempt to try this, the Lyons Review, fell flat on its face. This is not thought out civil service reform or a targeted boost for regional employment and the economy, it is the last gasps of a drowning government desperately clutching at straws."